25 Apr Not all NGOs oppose PSR project: former councillor
Published by The Vibes• 25/04/2021• 08:00 pm
Working-class citizens in Penang need developments like the Penang South Reclamation project to spur growth and ensure issues such as daily traffic congestion and limited wages can be a thing of the past, says former Seberang Prai Municipal Council member Joshua Woo Sze Zeng. – penangpropertytalk.com pic, April 25, 2021
GEORGE TOWN – The grievances of a few non-governmental organisations (NGOs) towards the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project does not necessarily represent the stand of some 5,000 NGOs in the state.
Former Seberang Prai Municipal Council member Joshua Woo Sze Zeng said not all NGOs are anti-development.
“Currently, the ones making the most noise are Consumers’ Association of Penang, Sahabat Alam Malaysia and Penang Forum, but I doubt they represent all 5,000 NGOs in Penang,” said Woo.
Penang has the most – over 5,000 – registered NGOs in the country, according to the Registrar of Societies, and this figure has been quoted in the state’s Vision 2030 development masterplan.
“It is an active number, meaning that such organisations are functional, and they represent a diverse range of interests from women’s rights to the environment, finance, and youth,” he said.
Woo has since called on these NGOs to provide their views on whether Penang should pursue the PSR project, which is a precursor to investing in the Penang Transport Master Plan involving the building of highways and a light rail transit (LRT) link.
“I think the protest is an inaccurate depiction of what the ordinary folk in Penang want.
“They want sustainability and they want progress, and there will be better jobs to improve the (standard) of living.”
Many working-class citizens need development to spur growth so issues like daily congestion and limited wages can be a thing of the past, he said.
“Those who want to remain status quo in Penang are probably those living in the comfort zone, and they do not want anything to change for the better as they have already ‘made it’,” said Woo.
He was responding to the uptick in statements from some NGOs protesting the state’s decision to proceed with the PSR, which involves the reclamation of some 4,500 acres (1,821ha) of land off Permatang Damar Laut.
Woo said that those criticising the state government over the issue must be willing to accept the fact that there is nothing permanent in life; there is a need to change and to adjust to the current crisis.
“Even if we do not do anything, we still need to adjust to what others may be doing.” – The Vibes, April 25, 2021